...dealing with a builder whom we have found out the hard way has cut corners on
our 5 month old home.
We have now noticed a bad water leak around a brick chimney where it goes
through a shingled roof. Last week we had about 4 inches
of rail and collected about 2 gallons of water leaking in from all four sides of
the chimney/roof juncture. Of course, a single
hole in the flashing on one side could be causing water to enter and run all
around the 4 sides - can't really tell as wood framing
is in the way.
We are uncertain of the exact cause and apropriate fix. The builder's original
roofer was already out once, and put some extra
roofing caulk (not sure of the actual name) around the top of the flashing. He
suggested that the problem might be within the
chimney, as the clay flue liner doesn't look like it was mortered well and was
slightly offset over the last few flue pieces to move
the liner over a few inches to center it. He claimed that wind-blown rain might
be entering the chimney flue and traveling through
the poor morter joints into the brick outside. I've installed a plastic bag over
the chimney/flue opening, however, and the water is
Another issue is the quality of the brick work in the attic - instead of a neat
brick job, the masons simply slapped whole and
broken brick around the flue lining without full morter joints. The thing looks
terrible, and not particularly strong, but it is
confined with the attic. That is the area where the water is appearing and
dripping onto the ceiling. We now know that the builder
hired very bad masons, some of whom had little or no experience.
The Question: Is there any way that the poor masonary job could be contributing
to the leak, or is the problem most likely due to an
incorrect flashing job on the roof? I know that a brick wall is pourous, so I
am imagining a scenario where water running down the
roof might hit the side of the brick chimney, go right through porous brick and
travel down the inside of the chimney until it meets
the poor brick/morter job in the attic. Because morter is missing there and
some brick is turned sideways etc., the water could
then run back outside the brick wall.
The other possibility is that the masonary job in the attic is strictly cosmetic
and the problem is confined to the roof flashing.
What, however, could a roofer do wrong that would make the leak so severe (2
gallons or more a day)? There is flashing in place and
I can't see anything obviously wrong with it.
We have an inspector coming out to look at it soon, but I wanted to get as many
opinions about this as possible.
Thanks in advance